Autumn Books

Death Of A Mother: Daughters' Stories

BMJ 1995; 311 doi: (Published 21 October 1995) Cite this as: BMJ 1995;311:1104
  1. Jill Johnston

    Ed Rosa Ainley Pandora, pounds sterling7.99, p 232 ISBN 0 04 440928 1

    The 20 essays and eight poems by women about the deaths of their mothers in this anthology are, with several exceptions, hardly notable as literature. But they are all deeply personal testimonies that range through the gamut of emotions and issues affecting humans who have to deal with the loss of a parent. A point supporting such accounts is made by the book's first contributor, Valerie Smith, an academic who researched the subject as well as telling her personal story. Smith found that, unlike such extensively studied life changes as puberty and marriage, “the death of a mother or father, which shifts one's whole pattern of relationships, goes all but unremarked.”

    The very different stories in this collection are yet bound, as one might expect, by …

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